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Old 03-11-2010, 05:43 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_671073.html#

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

By Joe Starkey
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's easy to find the face of the Steelers' storied franchise. Just click on TMZ.com.

There you will see Ben Roethlisberger clad in a black Satan T-shirt that's Satan, not satin apparently posing for photos with co-eds the night he was accused of sexual assault in a small Georgia college town.

I'm guessing none of the shots will make the cover of the Steelers' media guide.

Though bar-hopper Ben might well be innocent, team president Art Rooney II must be more than a little alarmed that his $102 million quarterback has as many sexual assault allegations as Super Bowl rings.

But let's be honest: The Steelers' carefully cultivated image isn't resting on Roethlisberger's innocence.

That image has long since crumbled.

The so-called Steeler Way is dead.

Don't get me wrong. The Steelers do most things better than nearly everybody. They draft better players, hire better coaches, win more championships.

But could we please stop pretending that they do so from elevated moral ground?

Rooney is not granting interviews, so there is no way to gauge his feelings on this latest legal headache. One wonders if he is ashamed of the Steelers' deteriorating image under his watch. Does he know that his players' off-field antics have made the franchise every bit as much a punch line as the Cincinnati Bengals?

Some people still buy the myth. That was obvious when rumors surfaced last summer of the Steelers having interest in disgraced quarterback Michael Vick.

The Steelers? They would never bring in a guy like that. That's not the Steeler Way.

At face value, such assertions were valid. The Steelers had no history of signing troubled, high-profile free agents and weren't going to sign Vick. But the implication that they only employ players of the strongest moral fiber should have insulted any reasonable person's intelligence.

Let's consider just some of the trouble we've seen since Super Bowl XL.

Where would you like to start offense, defense or special teams?

Let's go with receiver Santonio Holmes, who was arrested twice within 25 days of the Steelers drafting him. A disorderly conduct charge out of Miami was dropped. Holmes later was charged with domestic violence and assault against the mother of one of his children.

In a police affidavit, the woman alleged that Holmes was "choking (her), throwing her to the ground ... and slamming her into a door." Charges were dismissed when Holmes' lawyers assured a Ohio judge that Holmes was participating in counseling through the NFL.

This past year, Holmes escaped a misdemeanor drug charge when his attorney successfully argued that a traffic stop violated the player's rights.

Another receiver, Cedrick Wilson, allegedly walked into a bar two years ago and punched his ex-girlfriend in the face. The Steelers, upon cutting Wilson, released a sanctimonious statement saying they hoped the roster move would "send a message that we will not tolerate this type of conduct."

That was before star linebacker James Harrison, who was arrested for striking the mother of his son around the same time as the Wilson incident, was signed to a $51.5 million contract. Charges were dropped, but Harrison had to undergo anger-management counseling and in his autobiography, it was verified that Harrison struck the woman in the face.

We could go on. We could talk about the kicker's run-ins with a towel dispenser and policemen, the offensive line coach who accidentally forwarded a pornographic e-mail to league offices, the tight end who allegedly urinated in a parking lot near Heinz Field and even one of the team mascots who was arrested for DUI.

No need.

Let's just be truthful: All NFL franchises deal with trouble. All have been known to sacrifice ethics for the sake of winning. That's the point. The Steelers are no different than the rest, though they're having a pretty rough run at the moment.

You can read all about it on TMZ.com.

Joe Starkey can be reached at jraystarkey@gmail.com or .
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

I don't know about the whole team's image being in tatters. We've got one guy (Ben) who's made a real ass of himself in the national spotlight, and the rest is a bunch of random shit that happens from time to time, whether it's on a professional football team or in the general population.

I'm not so sure the Steelers' "pristine" reputation had to do with hiring guys who were angels off the field in the first place, either. Joey Porter got shot in the ass because of barroom brawl. Bam Morris got arrested with a garbage bag full of weed in his trunk. Tim Worley kept failing tests for cocaine and got tasered by the cops for a DUI. Eric Green couldn't stay away from the white powder either. Ernie Holmes shot it out with a police helicopter. This has been going on for decades, and I'm pretty sure you'll find it on just about any football team. Hell, you can pretty much expect that, given the number of guys on a team. Something like 1% of the population is actually IN PRISON, so it should be no surprise that out of 53 players, a couple are going to have problems with the law at any given time.

No, I think the Steelers' reputation has more to do with hiring players who work hard on the field and don't act like divas in the locker room or when they talk to the press. That's it. And the good news is, I don't think that's changed as a result of the Ben thing.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

Melodrama, anyone?
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

Quote:
We could go on. We could talk about the kicker's run-ins with a towel dispenser and policemen, the offensive line coach who accidentally forwarded a pornographic e-mail to league offices, the tight end who allegedly urinated in a parking lot near Heinz Field
so on motorways some people hang their wire out and piss on the side since they dont wanting to stink there car up with piss.

the writer needs to man up
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

Damn it, this means we can't rip the Ratbirds and Bungles as criminal franchises any more. Guess we'll just have to stick to pointing to the little silver trophies.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

I wouldn't say the image is in tatters, but the key is definitely in the ignition...
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

When does Ben's civil trial start in Reno? Have we ever heard about that one?
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

If Heath were a "real" team mate, he'd do something ridiculous to deflect attention from Ben.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

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Originally Posted by Killer View Post
When does Ben's civil trial start in Reno? Have we ever heard about that one?
no clue but hopefully he looses a few million and that makes him calm down. i dont care if he assulted this girl or not, he still needs to mature.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Starkey: Steelers' image in tatters

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Originally Posted by fansince'76 View Post
Melodrama, anyone?
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